Data shows that more than half of young people in America don’t have a romantic partner. However, while many think of being single as a bad thing, there are actually a myriad of surprising benefits to it, particularly in regard to health and wellbeing. From developing healthier habits to the benefits that gaining space can bring, here’s why single people tend to be healthier than those who are coupled up.
They have more time
Likely one of the biggest contributing factors as to why single people tend to be healthier is the fact that they have more time on their hands. Free from commitments like dates and other couple related outings, single people simply have more time in their schedule for themselves. Whether it’s developing a solid workout routine or simply spending some time catering to their own needs, having more time can allow for more focus on themselves — such as when it comes to developing healthier habits. In fact, one study that looked at 13,000 Americans aged 18 to 64 found that those who had never been married exercised more than those that had been. Additionally, single people tend to eat healthier than those who are in unhealthy or toxic relationships, and even tend to be more self—sufficient.
Gaining space — and perspective
Along with having more time, another reason why single people tend to be healthier is the fact that they are able to get to know themselves better and gain perspective on what they really want in their life. This can be especially beneficial following a breakup, where people can be tempted to rush into a new relationship with someone that isn’t right for them (also known as repetition compulsion), due to trying to subconsciously mend the pain. On the other hand, by following the “no-contact” rule — aka ending all communication with your ex for a period of time by physically and emotionally separating yourself from your ex — one can truly recover through newfound space and alone time.
Growing as an individual
Due to the time and space that single people have as opposed to those in relationships, many are able to take the opportunity and grow as an individual by creating and meeting their personal goals, whether it’s achieving educational goals or those of health and fitness. In fact, a study published by the Journal of Family Issues reports that although marriage was beneficial to subjects’ autonomy and personal growth, single people were actually more likely to view new life experiences and learning in a positive light, effectively allowing someone who is single to grow more as a person. In turn, this can aid in finding oneself, and knowing what you truly want in life and in future relationships.
Although being single might sound like a negative thing, research has found that it’s quite the opposite, especially when it comes to health and wellbeing. With the benefits of being single such as gaining space, perspective, and having more free time, people can focus on themselves and develop healthier habits.
By Jess Walter